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Assignment and checklist for Unit 9: Create a media product

Brief:

You are to develop a brand new graphic novel or comic for a teenage audience. This will be an original story that will introduce the character and main narrative arc.

To do this you will need to:

Research comic book publishers, graphic novels/comic book titles, narratives and characters portrayed within them

Plan for the production of an original graphic novel or comic, creating a detailed proposal, script and page layout, storyboard and ways you might develop your main character further

Develop ideas for a character to be used in a story arc within your comic

Produce an original graphic novel or comic that conforms to your planned ideas

Unit aim

Comic books and cartoon strips have been around for a very long time from the earliest cave paintings depicting graphic scenes to the digital comics we see today. Comics have developed their own style, characters and following. Comics have served many purposes; firstly to entertain but secondly, in the case of some comics, to purvey a message to those who read it.

By completing this unit, you will understand the comic and graphic novel world. You will understand the content of a graphic novel or comic and how it relates to its target audience. Youll be able to develop one character for an original graphic novel or comic, and plan and produce panels for an original graphic novel or comic for this character.

Task 1: Researching the world of graphic novels and comics

Learning Outcome 1: Know the graphic novels and comics industry

Pass

Merit

Distinction

P1: Describe the work of a graphic novel or comic publisher

P2: Describe a chosen graphic novel or comic product

Evidence (Remember to include the title at the top of every entry)

The proposal should be presented in a written format, which could be supported by audio-visual evidence, that demonstrates the initial planning ideas for development. You must produce sample material that could be incorporated in to the content of the proposal.

(P1) You must look at different companies from various countries that produce comics. You must look at a range of characters (a minimum of two) from each company and research the work of the writers/pencilers of each.

You must explore:

Companies (e.g. DC Comics, Manga Entertainment, Marvel Comics, 2000 AD, DC Thompson, Fleetway Press, Image Comics)

Product types (e.g. graphic novels, digital comics, motion comics, comic strips, manga) titles (e.g. The Incredible Hulk, Hercules, Iron Man, Astonishing X-Men, Superman, Batman, Judge Dredd, Beano, Dandy)

Writers/pencilers, letterers/inkers/colourists (e.g. Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Bob Kane, Will Eisner, Osamu Tezuka, Kev F Sutherland, Alan Moore)

Genre and styles (e.g. Japanese, American, British, crime, fantasy, superhero, war)

You should evidence this by a written report or a presentation with detailed speaker notes.

(P2) You must describe a chosen graphic novel using the areas outlined below:

Genre: Action and adventure, slice of life, crime and mystery, science fiction/fantasy, superheroes

Panelling, text, story line, structure, visual narrative, iconography, use of formal elements (e.g. line, tone, colour), speech, thought bubbles and box placements, symbols and sound effects

Consider how meaning is created through elements of content and style (e.g. colour, language, text, images, props, costumes), created through semiotics (e.g. connotation, denotation, signification, iconography, anchorage), created through techniques (e.g. cropping, sizing, use of captions, choice of fonts, angle of the drawn action and characters)

Target audience (e.g. age, gender, interests)

Back story, personality, development, their appeal to target audience.

You should evidence this by a written report or a presentation with detailed speaker notes.

Task 2: Planning for an original graphic novel or comic idea

Learning Outcome 2: Be able to plan the production of an original graphic novel or comic

Pass

Merit

Distinction

P3: Develop an original story to be told within the graphic novel or comic

P4: Create a script for the planned story

(*Synoptic assessment from Unit 2 Pre-production and planning)

P5: Plan the structure and panel layout for the proposed original graphic novel or comic

(*Synoptic assessment from Unit 2 Pre-production and planning)

Evidence (Remember to include the title at the top of every entry)

(P3) You must develop a story for an original graphic novel or comic using the areas identified below.

Create a proposal for the content that includes:

Title, synopsis of the plot, narrative structure

Graphic novel, comic, digital comic

Action and adventure, slice of life, crime and mystery, science fiction/fantasy, superheroes

Main character, additional characters (e.g. name, age, background, relationship to the narrative and main character, powers if relevant)

Target audience (e.g. age, gender, lifestyle, appeal of the graphic novel)

Established company (e.g. 2000 AD, Marvel), self-publishing, internet

Copyright, intellectual property rights, slander, libel, royalties, violence, offensive language/behaviour/ material, representation, health and safety

Storyboarding for story flow

You should evidence this using documents, video, images embedded on the blog etc.

(P4) You should create a script for the story for an original novel or comic. The evidence must be a formal script.

You should evidence this using a document embedded within the blog

(P5) You should plan the structure and scripted panel layouts including the script and panel layout as outlined below.

Discuss:

Break writing plot into page breaks/panel breaks

Develop a script for the character

Break each page into panels, plan panels on each page to fit narrative

Include dialogue bubbles/thought bubbles/captions; sound effects should be considered for panels

Consider camera angles/shots (e.g. birds eye view, close-up)

Additionally, discuss ideas for creation of the comic world such as:

Props that could be used within the comic (e.g. vehicles, guns etc.)

Terrain

Objects in the environment

Colouring of the environment

You should evidence this using rough designs for the page layouts and a script proposal.

Task 3: Developing the plans for your graphic novel or comic

Learning Outcome 2: Be able to plan the production of an original graphic novel or comic

Pass

Merit

Distinction

M1: Produce a storyboard to illustrate the flow of the story

(*Synoptic assessment from Unit 2 Pre-production and planning)

D1: Evaluate the feasibility for further development of the main character in future stories across different media formats

Evidence (Remember to include the title at the top of every entry)

(M1) This must be done BEFORE you make your comic.

You must produce a storyboard that shows the story flow this will not be laid out in a panel design but must show the way the story will flow.

On the storyboard it will be clear that these ideas have been generated by you. You should evidence this by:

moodboards, summary of ideas, spider diagrams, initial character sketches

backstory, unique character traits and/or abilities, relationship with other characters

initial character drawings/illustrations to illustrate physical characteristics and movement, body, head, clothing.

This will be evidenced by the storyboard that has been produced (see below for an example).

(D1) You must evaluate the feasibility of further developments of the main character across different media formats. A minimum of two must be evaluated from below:

Video game

Film

Television series (live action or animated)

To give you some idea, this means how feasible is it that your characters story will continue past this story you have made? Could this character turn up in other cross-promotions? You should evidence this by writing an essay or producing a presentation with detailed notes.

Task 4: Developing your original character

Learning Outcome 3: Be able to develop ideas for an original character for a planned story

Pass

Merit

Distinction

P6: Develop an original character to be included in the planned story

M2: Explain the characteristics and features of the original character

Evidence (Remember to include the title at the top of every entry)

(P6) You must develop an original character for inclusion into your graphic novel.

Discuss:

Colours you may use

Features of the character

Clothing

Abilities, etc.

At this stage, you must generate a range of ideas that you will develop into your final character.

You should evidence this using a spider diagram, moodboard, initial character rough sketches and a written synopsis of ideas.

(M2) You must explain your characters defined characteristics and features.

You need to create illustrations that show the character from different angles and give ideas and details regarding facial expressions. How can you link them to the characters personality and experiences?

This should be evidenced using designs and illustrations as well as supporting written commentary.

Task 5: Producing y